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Canada Cdn military spending to drop in 2018: NATO

18:06  11 july  2018
18:06  11 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Military spending in NATO countries continues to dwarf equivalent spending in Russia and the gap widened in 2017, according to the latest report Despite the sharp drop in Russian military spending by 20% in 2017, Russia is still one of the biggest military spenders in the world, taking the 4th place.

Military spending in NATO countries continues to dwarf equivalent spending in Russia and the gap widened in 2017, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

OTTAWA - Even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to defend against U.S. President Donald Trump's demands that Canada invest more in defence, a new NATO report suggests Canadian military spending as a percentage of GDP will fall sharply this year.

Canada is expected to spend an estimated 1.23 per cent of its GDP on defence in 2018 — down from 1.36 per cent last year, says the annual report, which looks at military investments for all member states.

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New figures show that Canadian military spending will be cut significantly, even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to face President Donald Trump’s demands for higher NATO military spending at the alliance's summit in Brussels.

The decline is largely the result of two one-time expenses last year, said National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier, one of which was a retroactive pay increase for service members that was included in the Liberal government's defence policy.

The other was more unexpected: a $1.8-billion payment into the account that provides pensions for Forces members and their dependents.

"Canada continues to place a premium on tangible operational contributions," Le Bouthillier said in a statement, "as well as on demonstrating a commitment and capacity to deploy and sustain personnel in support of the NATO alliance."

The department's explanation makes sense, said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, calling it laudable that the government is investing more in pay and pensions for service members.

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Total military spending by all 29 NATO members was 0 billion in 2017, accounting for 52 per cent of world spending , SIPRI says. More: China to boost defense spending by 8.1% in 2018 . Military expenditures in Central Europe increased 12 percent and those in Western Europe increased by 1.7

Military spending of NATO countries and estimated share of GDP in 2017.Statista. I am a Statista data journalist, covering technological, societal and media topics through visual representation. In fact, I love to write about all trending topics, illustrating patterns and trends in a quick, clear and meaningful way.

But the report comes at a sensitive time for Trudeau, given Trump's persistent calls on NATO allies to increase their defence spending to two per cent of GDP — as members first agreed back in 2014.

The U.S. president is expected to push the matter hard when he sits down Wednesday in Brussels with Trudeau and other NATO leaders.

"The prime minister is saying that Canada is doing great things," Perry said. "Only now, he will have to explain why spending has gone down."

The Liberal government actually changed the way Canada reports its defence spending to NATO last year, largely to ensure its investments were being properly acknowledged amid U.S. pressure to spend more.

That change saw the government include the cost of some veterans programs, deploying police on peacekeeping missions, coast guard operations and even computer support in the overall number.

The addition of those costs, which many other countries have long included in their own calculations, added approximately $4.4 billion to Canada's reported defence spending in 2017.

Without those costs, Canada's reported defence spending would have been around one per cent of GDP.

— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.

Trudeau insists Canada spending enough on defence, as Trump declares victory at NATO .
Trudeau insists Canada spending enough on defence, as Trump declares victory at NATO Instead, Trudeau said at the wrap of the summit in Brussels that Canada has reaffirmed its commitment to work toward contributing two per cent of its gross domestic product to military spending — the military alliance's benchmark —and reverse any cuts.

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